Wednesday, October 5, 2011

My Love Letter to Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

Whuzzup, Eight Legged Freaks!

YES! I LOVE YOU, EIGHT LEGGED FREAKS! I love you so freaking much! I get so ecstatically happy when I think about you and your silly good fun. Giant spiders! Giant. Freaking. Spiders. And David Arquette. And self-aware humor that is actually funny. And giant spiders. I couldn't ask for anything more.

Your movie is a love letter in and of itself to the classic giant bug B-movies from the '50s - not as if you are making fun of them, of course, but you're honestly paying tribute and still having a great time in the process. I think your title more than anything proves this and your knowledge of just how silly you are and not giving a shit. Look at your poster, at the pose that Kari Wuhrer is giving - it's exaggerated and funny, but all in a good way, just like the rest of the movie.

Oh my gosh, okay, I'm so stoked to be talking to you and about you and your awesomeness. Like many people in the world, I don't consider spiders my particular favorite animal if you know what I mean, so I thought it would freak me out to see spiders bigger than people in this movie. But the way you presented the situation made it less scary (but still gross and freaky) and way more fun. I think even the biggest arachnophobe could watch you and still laugh their asses off.

Your story is a classic in itself. A multitude of spiders at Taft's Exotic Spider Farm in Prosperity, Arizona are exposed to toxic chemicals and soon grow to enormous size. A female sheriff, a smart kid, and a prodigal son become the ones who rally the townspeople into fighting the beasts, for their lives and for their town.

Okay, so the spiders are your biggest star, Eight Legged Freaks, and what I love most about them is all the different kinds that get represented. You got huge tarantulas, trapdoor spiders, jumpers, spitters, and Consuela, the biggest and baddest bitch of the bunch. What's also great about these spiders is the fact that they freaking talk throughout the movie! I've never heard a spider make any kind of noise before, but you've got them screaming and screeching and growling. It's hilarious.

One thing I like about you as well, is that a good deal of your story is about the people of Prosperity. The main focus for the first 40 minutes is on setting up all the characters of the people, the town's financial problems, and the budding love story between Sam the sheriff and Chris. It makes you more than just a giant bug movie - we love these people's personalities and they are not just fodder for the spiders, we want them to succeed. And though you could definitely be classified as horror, I think people love you more for just watching all the crazy antics of the giant spiders and not so much for the kills, which are actually quite tame. Probably why you got a PG-13 rating. All you PG-13 haters, remember Eight Legged Freaks! Sometimes the rating isn't such a downer after all.

I seriously don't have enough time here to talk about all of the wonderful individual scenes and gags that you have during the spider attacks. The murder of Zeke the cat, the cocooning of the guy in the barbershop, the tarantula attacking Harlan's trailer, all the little in-jokes and funny lines... These are all fantastic and ingenious ways to give not only the horror fans what they want out of a movie like you, but also give the comedy fans something to get a kick out of as well.

I love your music! At times slightly serious but mostly just campy and upbeat, your music no doubt helps keep the tone of the movie light-hearted and comedic. And, oh my goodness, I love that "Itsy Bitsy Spider" song that plays over the end credits so much that I have to play it all the way through every time I watch you.

Seeing as how giant spiders don't really exist (well, at least not as big as you present them), I'm totally down with all the CGI work done. It's not exactly seamless at some points, and the spiders do a lot of unnatural things - biting the moose head and then spitting it out, for one (HAHA) - but all that was completely welcome and a real joy to watch. I don't care if nothing you say or do here is scientifically accurate, that's not why I or anyone else watch you over and over again.

Really, Eight Legged Freaks, I have so much more to say about you and it could take all day. To me you are an instant B-movie classic and I don't think I'll ever get tired of you. Director Ellory Elkayem created something really special with you (BTW, the short film he made that inspired you, "Larger Than Life," is pretty awesome too. Fans should check that out) and he should be proud! You are a crazy good time, absolutely hilarious, and one of my personal favorites of all time. Stay cool, bro.

Your bestest best bud,

P.S. "Lose the face fuzz before you go. It makes your mouth look like a stripper's crotch." BEST. LINE. EVER.


  1. that's kinda sweet! I love Eight-Legged Freaks! reminds me of my grad school days when horror films were so fun and senseless!

  2. For the first time ever, I have a desire now to see Eight Legged Freaks....
    All right, Girl Who Loves Horror. I'll give it a chance. Your love letter was too convincing.

  3. I agree with Andrew on this one, even though I try to avoid movies that center around giant freaking spiders. ;)

  4. @Kaijinu: Awesome! This movie is definitely fun and senseless... and amazing!

    @Andrew and Jenny: :-0 I can't believe you two haven't seen this yet! I really think you'll both like it, see it soon!

  5. I admit, I would have loved ELF waaay more without David Arquette.
    He's a quite good director ("The Tripper") and he's decent in the Scream-franchise but I really, really hate his performance in here

  6. Your review made me want to re-watch this, I enjoyed it the first time around. I'm also a big fan of Aracnophobia, remember that one?